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Marian Kerr - Contemplate Life Coaching - Write with You

Marian Kerr

Life Coaching

The Resolution Solution


Well, here it is the12th January – almost halfway through the first month of 2012. I haven’t come up for air yet, let alone found some quiet time for the reflection and contemplation required to set considered resolutions or plan for the coming year. But time has a way of passing, whether we are ready for it or not! So, did you make any New Year’s Resolutions? Have you kept them so far, or have they already fallen by the wayside?

More importantly, if you did set goals, what were they about? Were they built on your hopes and dreams of what you would like to achieve and how you would like yourself and your life to develop? Or like most people’s, were they yet another opportunity to beat up on yourself, berating yourself about all the things you feel you ‘have to’ give up or ‘must’ put into place to make yourself into a more ‘worthwhile and acceptable’ person.

Besides the act of deciding to do something towards achieving your wishes, goals and plans that we usually think of when talking about resolutions, there’s also another meaning to the word. In the context of photography, resolution refers to the amount of detail in a digital image which affects its clarity. So a high resolution image has more dots of visual information per square centimetre and it consequently looks clearer and shaper than a low-res one. It can also be blown up to a larger size allowing the viewer to see the fine points of the picture more easily.

Maybe at the beginning stages of the year the sort of ‘resolution’ we should be thinking about is not the one that defines what we ‘should’ and ‘should not’ be doing, but the one that allows us to turn our attention on ourselves and look with clear eyes and an open heart at the details and the bigger picture of our lives. This would then enable us to make more focused and appropriate decisions about who we really are and how we want to live out that truth in our daily lives.

* What do you think about New Year’s Resolutions?

* Does the idea of a ‘high resolution’ look at your life make a difference to how you might approach the ‘fresh start’ that each year offers?

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 21 February 2012 08:19 )

Finding Simple Ways to Achieve Your Goals


I often talk to my clients about taking baby steps, especially when beginning a process of change or starting a journey towards achieving a goal. This week I had a small task to complete which seemed daunting: it wasn’t really all that important, but it made me think of how the concepts could be applied to bigger issues.

I love to read but I don’t like feeling under pressure, as I like to stop and think about what I’m reading and jot down ideas I would like to follow up on. However, this week I was quite busy and my library book was due back in a couple of days and couldn’t be renewed as it has been requested by someone else. I had a choice about whether or not to persevere and try to finish it or read what I could and pick it up again later. It’s the sort of topic that is developed step by step and I much preferred to finish it in one week.

So I asked myself how best to tackle this little task. I knew I was motivated as I was interested in the subject and that meant I would do what it took to get to the end. I assessed the situation and found that I had already read 50 of the 200 pages, leaving only 150 pages to complete in 3 days, which was quite achievable. But when I sat down and began to read it, all the joy had gone out of it as it had become a ‘have to’.

So I stepped back and asked myself if I still wanted to go on. The answer was yes so I simplified it further. Breaking the reading into two sessions of 25 pages with my morning and afternoon coffee became much easier and took it from something I was pushing myself to accomplish to an activity that felt quite natural and uncomplicated.

Sometimes it is important to find the easiest and simplest way of doing something by linking into our motivation and then breaking the task down into small achievable steps.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 27 September 2011 19:28 )

Find Self-Development Methods That Suit You


I’ve just finished a short session on my rebounder and I’m feeling refreshed and invigorated. I enjoy being able to work out without the need to leave home, wear special clothing or fit in with someone else’s schedule. It’s a gentle form of exercise that doesn’t overtax my muscles and joints but still provides good aerobic benefits.

I almost missed out on this valuable resource because the first time I tried one it gave me an almighty migraine headache, so I wrote it off as an unsuitable way for me to exercise. For years I believed this and put it out of my mind as being at all useful. Then I read an article that mentioned the number and placement of springs and the quality of the mat as being important in how efficiently a rebounder worked. When I saw a second-hand brand-name model for sale I thought I’d give it another go. The results were vastly different from the first time round and I realised that I had found a method of exercise which would work for me.

I still had to overcome one barrier though, and that was that it wasn’t a part of my regular routine yet. As long as it sat in the garage it was too much of an effort to remember it and drag it into the house. Placing it beside the bed in the spare room made it more accessible and it became more likely that I would use it. The last hurdle to surmount was boredom, and I tackled that one by putting on a CD of catchy music with a regular beat that encouraged me to keep up a good pace. Being able to sing along to the CD also made it less of a chore and more fun.

I found I could apply the lessons I learnt through this to any type of activity that might improve my life:

  • don’t give up if something new doesn’t work; you might just need more information or a different method that suits you better
  • always be alert to opportunities to grow
  • a new way of thinking or acting won’t make a difference if you don’t practice it regularly; make a commitment
  • take actions which make it easier to remember the new habit you want to develop
  • self-development shouldn’t be a chore; find a way of making it enjoyable

What self-development projects could you look at in a new way?

How can you best support your commitment to develop healthy habits of thought and action?

Send your comments through the Contact Marian page


Decluttering Guidelines


Decluttering takes time and effort - but it is worth it because YOU are worth it. It needn’t be an overwhelming task and it doesn’t have to be difficult to decide what to do with all the stuff you have accumulated. Here are some simple guidelines to help you make wise choices about what to keep and what to move on.

As you pick up each item ask yourself the following questions:

* Does it work?
o if it’s broken
- fix it now
- throw it out

* Does it fulfil its function well?
o does it work well?
o is it something I need?

* Do I use it? How often? When?
o if it’s used frequently
- put it where it can be found easily
o if it’s used now and then
- store it where it can be accessed readily when needed

* How many of this item do I need?
o have I got something else that already does this?
o have I got something that does it better?

* Do I love it - does it bring me joy?
o if not (depending on its condition)
- throw it away
- give it away
- sell it

As you declutter you will also be making decisions about how to keep the clutter down, developing systems that will work for you and learning new habits. It all takes dedication and commitment, but boy does it pay off in the long run! Remind yourself of what you are going to gain by decluttering. You are reclaiming your life and redefining who you are and how you want to live your life. As you let go of what does not serve you well, you make room for what is good, useful, satisfying and helpful in your life.

What area of your home are you most keen to declutter. Will these questions help you simplify the process?

Please post your comments on the email form on the Contact Marian page

Last Updated ( Sunday, 29 May 2011 20:16 )

2010 Gives Way to 2011


So, that was 2010! It is a year that I have heard described by others as: my bestest ever year;  the worst year of my life; the time when I finally… ; and, one I’ll never forget .

Whatever this year held for you, it is now in its closing hours and what is done is done. Take a few moments to ponder the year past in all its complexity. Relive its triumphs and savour its joys. Acknowledge its sorrows and pain and gently let them go. Congratulate yourself for the resilience and strengths you have developed through adversity. Be kind to yourself about the mistakes you have made and the disappointments you may have suffered. Think again of how your values and beliefs have brought you to the place you now are.

Then turn your eyes forward to the coming year. What are your hopes and dreams for the year? What will you take forward with you? What will you leave behind?

This is not a time for self-judgement or recriminations or for resolutions that begin with ‘I must’ or ‘I won’t’. It is a time to lift your head high and say, ‘this is the life I want to be living; this is the person I will be in order to live it; and these are the things I will do with determination to make it a reality’. In essence, we can’t control every aspect of our existence. What we can control, and what will propel us into this year with a light step, is our attitude.

What I wish for this year is an attitude which embraces a re-affirmation of openness and love; a renewed commitment to family and friendship; and further opportunity to immerse myself in the beauty that is around me in many forms.

What do you wish for the coming year?

Send your comments through on the form on the Contact Marian Page

Last Updated ( Friday, 31 December 2010 11:29 )
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